Over the past 25 years, more than 940 children have died of heatstroke, because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke and that all hot car deaths are preventable.
Know the Facts
- A child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child is left in a vehicle, that child's temperature can rise quickly — and the situation can quickly become dangerous.
- Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
- A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
- In 2022, 33 children died of heatstroke in vehicles.
- In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths — 53 children died each year — the most in at least 25 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org.
Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths
Parents and Caregivers
1. Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended for any length of time. Rolling windows down or parking in the shade does little to change the interior temperature of the vehicle.
2. Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — especially the back seat — before locking the doors and walking away.
3. Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
4. Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger's seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
5. Store car keys out of a child's reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.
Everyone — Including Bystanders
Secure Your Car
Always lock your car doors, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.
Act Fast. Save a Life.
If you see a child alone in a locked car, act immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.
Learn about other dangers in and around your vehicle that could seriously harm or even kill your child.